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Common Land (Access)

Environment Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 16th May 2002.

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Photo of Vernon Coaker Vernon Coaker Labour, Gedling

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she will lay draft regulations before Parliament under section 68 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 relating to vehicular access over common land.

Photo of Alun Michael Alun Michael Minister of State (Rural Affairs), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Draft regulations have been laid in both Houses, together with a regulatory impact assessment and an analysis of the responses made to the draft regulations circulated in July 2001. The Government's objective has been to strike a fair balance between the owners of common land, and those who have, for many years, driven across the land to get to their homes.

The major change in the regulations is in relation to the compensation payable. This reflects the Government's view that the compensation payable in respect of older premises, already in existence when it became an offence to drive on common land, should be a relatively small amount. Owners of premises in existence on or before 31 December 1905 will pay 0.25 per cent. of the value of the premises. Owners of those built between 1 January 1906 and 30 November 1930 will pay 0.5 per cent. Compensation in respect of all other premises remains at 2 per cent.

We hope that the regulations will be considered by both Houses before the summer recess, and will then come into force as soon as possible.

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